May 2019 Top Talk

May is National Bike Month.  What are you planning?

Although some of our members are already maxing out their riding days, for many members the warmer, less rainy days of May motivate them to clean up their bike, pump up the tires, check the batteries in their lights, and get back in the saddle. It is time to move your pedaling outdoors! Not so coincidentally, it is also National Bike Month! National Bike Month (NBM) was ‘invented’ in 1956 by the Bicycle Institute of America (the promotional arm of bicycle manufacturers) and initially called American Bicycle Month (Brief History of NBM by James Longhurst). Our club’s May Calendar offers daily choices for ways to celebrate, but there are ways to celebrate cycling outside the club as well. Here are a few special ideas for what you can do outside the club for Bike Month.

You might want to “think outside the bike” by checking out Filmed by Bike film schedule Friday through Sunday, May 17-19 . You’ll vicariously cycle from London to Iceland to Belgium to Canada and beyond; you’ll experience cycling on roads, gravel, sand, and dirt. You’ll see a diverse group of people in the audience and on the screen, all celebrating the same activity. Join me – I’ll be there!  That same weekend is the Reach the Beach for ALA. If you are interested in RtB, and you feel ride ready, contact Ann Morrow (anniedmor@gmail.com) for additional info. There are two more Saturdays of Training Rides for RtB.

Love gravel? Western Bikeworks has a ride series for you – and it is right in our own backyard. Every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. they meet for The Wild West Gravel Ride Series in Forest Park. Cycle Oregon is also promoting gravel riding with their weekend gravel event, Cycle Oregon Gravel. Cycle Oregon says, “Our inaugural ride was so much fun we decided to do it again – only this time, we’re heading to the stunning expanses of high, lonesome prairie, and forested foothills surrounding Dufur, Oregon for an unforgettable trip down some of Oregon’s most scenic backroads.”

Where will you be on Sunday, May 19? If you live in inner SE near Laurelhurst, Ivon Street, Sewallcrest, or Colonel Summers Parks, you may be family bicycling park to park with the first of five Sunday Parkways. There will be live music, dancing, lots of food, Circus Cascadia, and even some Shakespeare.

Do you want a special way to celebrate Mothers’ Day on May 11? Consider a family ride to the Portland Aerial Tram for their  “Celebrate Moms” event, sponsored by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Finally, here is a safety reminder: The month of May brings out inexperienced bicyclists and more pedestrians. Tourists begin to fill our streets and the multi-use paths and river fronts are crowded. Events are going on (e.g., Portland Rose Festival); as a result, patience and pausing for others become even more important, so let’s be safe out there.

Pat McManus, President